Call Me By Your Name – 5

James Ivory’s gay wet dream goes from languorous to tedious about halfway through: how many slow-motion man-boy embraces do we need, or “let’s strip to our trunks and go for a swim”? (I subsequently read of screenwriter Ivory’s disappointment that both male stars had a no-nudity provision in their contracts.) More annoying were the unconvincing attempts to establish the academic bona fides of Armie Hammer and Michael Stuhlbarg’s characters. In fact, Hammer didn’t seem convincing as anything – latter-day Greek god, perhaps? – and Stuhlbarg seemed more Hammer’s younger brother than mentor. Timothee Chalamet was excellent, and the Tuscan countryside was prime Merchant-Ivory territory; but all the subplots and lunches with totally incidental secondary characters reminded me of New Wave cinema but didn’t do much for this story. I was more invested in counting all the cigarettes that got smoked.

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